Erie Family Portraits: Extended!

We had a great session the other day, where I captured images of a nice large family group.  Pursuing a lead I saw in one of my professional photography magazines, I captured a series of four images with the same backdrop and lighting and created this interesting linear arrangement.  I can’t even call it a collage.
The editing was a little tricky but as I work on my technique I’ll have it down!

Oh, and join Groupon and tell your friends to do the same.  You may see something about me there soon!

Erie Family Portraits – Beach Photos

Saturday was a perfect day for beach portraits.  The weather was a bit cool, but the skies were clear and the beach area was starting to show some fall color.
I’ve worked with Sally and her family for years, and I was honored to work with them to capture some fresh family portraits on location.  They brought their dog Skippy, and we wandered around the Waterworks area to capture some late morning images.
Enjoy the great beach and fall images!  I had a great time.  I hope Sally and her family had fun and find some good images for their family memories!

Erie Family Portraits at the Beach

A beautiful late summer evening at the beach was the setting for our family portrait session.  We chose Waterworks because we can go from bayside to beach in just a couple of minutes, and the backdrop of the cityscape from the fishing dock is great.
Jen’s family was a lot of fun to work with.  I used dual external flashes for some of the images, creating a good balance between the background and the subjects.
I think we captured some great images of this fun family.

Family Portrait Photography in Erie: Low-Key Portraiture


Last week I highlighted some High-Key portraiture using a white background. This week I wanted to show you some images taken at the opposite end of the background spectrum.

Often called “Low-Key” lighting, this technique features a dark background. The objective is not to simply lower the lighting level; you still need enough light to render the subjects well in the exposure. In fact, with dark-haired subjects, you may need as my lights as the High Key method. These lights are often pointed back toward the camera to provide some illumination on the subjects’ hair, for separation from the background.

In this image, we have mother and daughters, all dressed in black, against a black background. A key light to camera right provides the front illumination of the right side. A fill light to camera left lightens the shadows. And two lights behind them fitted with grids, provide the rim or hair lighting.

You can see a nice shine in the girls’ hair from the supplemental lighting, as well as clearly lit faces. Low-key images are often subdued and elegant in appearance, contrasted with the higher-energy appearance of high-key imagery. These portraits do very well in large print format, in canvas or traditional print form.

Erie Photography: New Studio!

Today I got the keys for my new studio space. Located in the Raven building in Suite 101, it has perfect north-facing windows, which provide wonderful diffused illumination for natural-light photography. It has great wooden floors, high ceilings, and a killer brick wall. This building was an old school building, and has tons of character and history.

Here’s a view from the doorway facing North. Look at all that light! (Don’t look at the cheesy furniture…they are on the outs.)

Facing south. You can’t get better light than this for portraiture.
The east corner has the windows and the brick wall, and a floor that will shine up quite nicely.
Closeup of brick wall. You know me and bricks…this is serious!

It needs just a bit of cleaning, but it will be a perfect space for portrait photography, seminars, consultation and hanging out. It will be a wonderful meeting spot and indoor portrait spot for my summer seniors, family portraits and pre-wedding bridal photography. It’s also 20 feet from some of the best graffiti in Erie.

I’m going to post a call for models in a few days. Once I get the place cleaned up, I’m going to do some test shoots with willing participants, in exchange for some prints and digital images.

I’m also planning a February indoor portrait marathon as a fund raiser, most likely for an agency that supports the relief effort in Haiti.

Stay tuned…lots more “Raven 101” to come!

Can you tell I’m pumped? I’ve been waiting for this for over 5 years!

Church Directory in Erie


We just finished editing and posting a few hundred images from our recent church pictorial directory session this last weekend. We photographed over 50 families and are on our way to building a nice directory for Saints Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church.

This was a slightly more relaxed pace than the dance photography that I am currently doing, but very similar, being indoors and artificially lit. Here you can see a lovely family of four posed against one of my favorite brown backdrops.

We had some time to play around, and we caught some really great images of couples, kids and families.

Thanks to everyone who helped plan this event, and who showed up on this cold winter weekend to have their portraits taken for our new book!